Special Report to Blowing Rock News from App State Sports. By Mike Flynn. May 26, 2015. BOONE, NC — Appalachian State University football doled out its spring performance awards during its first team meeting of the summer on Monday evening at the Appalachian Athletics Center.
Blowing Rock News coverage of App State Sports is made possible by a sponsorship from Appalachian Regional Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center
Under the direction of strength and conditioning coach Mike Sirignano and his staff, Appalachian State football held a six-week competition beginning after the conclusion of spring practice in early March and ending with the close of the spring semester in late April. Ten teams took part in the “Battle for the Belt,” an intrasquad competition that awarded points for success in the weightroom and in the classroom.
Led by senior center Jesse Chapman (Cookeville, Tenn./Cookeville), the “Bomb Squad” won the team competition and the accompanying championship belt. In addition to Chapman, who served as the Bomb Squad captain, other team members included senior long snapper Isaac Edwards (Spruce Pine, N.C./Mitchell County), senior offensive lineman Davante Harris (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood), junior linebacker Dustin Anderson (Hibriten, N.C./Alexander Central), junior defensive lineman Tyson Fernandez (Fuquay-Varina, N.C./Fuquay-Varina), junior wide receiver Zireycus Letman (Lincolnton, Ga./Lincolnton), sophomore defensive back A.J. Howard (Hamilton, Ga./Harris County), sophomore offensive lineman Beau Nunn (York, S.C./York Comprehensive) and sophomore place kicker Mason Moore (Asheville, N.C./Asheville).
Individually, senior wideout Malachi Jones (Roswell, Ga./Central Gwinnett) and sophomore linebacker Caleb Fuller (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) won the Ironeer Awards as the team’s best individual performers, wide receiver Simms McElfresh (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) and sophomore defensive back Latrell Gibbs (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb) earned the Ball Hawk Awards for the best skill-position performers, Chapman and senior defensive lineman Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County) received the Heavy Hitter Awards as the best big-man performers and junior punter/place kicker Bentlee Critcher (South Daytona, Fla./Warner Christian Academy) collected the Sniper Award as the best specialist performer.
Redshirt-freshman linebacker Teh’Ron Fuller (Fort Myers, Fla./South Fort Myers), redshirt-freshman defensive back Junior Sigalo (Lithonia, Ga./Arabia Mountain) and true-freshman place kicker Michael Rubino (Apex, N.C./Middle Creek) were named the most-improved performers.
Appalachian State’s quarterbacks took home the biggest academic honor of the night, as their 3.242 combined grade point average during the spring semester was the highest among the team’s position groups.
Eighty-five football student-athletes returned to campus on Monday for the beginning of Appalachian State’s first summer session and offseason workouts will resume immediately.
The Mountaineers put their six-game winning streak — the fifth-longest in NCAA Division I FBS — on the line in just 102 days when they open the 2015 campaign at home versus Howard. Full- and half-season ticket packages are available now at appstatesports.com/tickets.